I wouldn’t care to make featured posts of all the times things have gone wrong – even though those times are few enough in number. Completely or partly my fault, these contretemps are part of being on the move for such an extended time. My travel planning is quite complicated. For one thing, once I choose a concert or opera I want to attend, I have to find a performance I can get to by a cheap flight, when cheap flights may be scheduled just a couple of days in the week, and I don’t want to risk traveling the day of a performance. Also, I don’t want to spend many Schengen days outside of France or visits with friends, so I usually want those concert excursions to be three nights at most. Then, I’m trying to meet up with friends as much as possible, not because I don’t like traveling alone, but because I love my friends and chances to be together are precious times that sustain me. So, there’s a lot of juggling and adapting. And always, there’s the concern over Schengen days: 90 days allowed in the Schengen zone for every rolling block of 180 days. We can come and go from the zone, it is not a matter of 90 days in and 90 days out. Nor is it a matter of nights spent; unfortunately, any part of a day in the zone counts as one day used. As I said, it’s complicated!
Have I adequately prepared my defense for my screw-ups?
On this page, I’ll give a little recap of each case, with a link to a post found only through this page or through the tag “gone awry,” should you care to read the whole sorry tale. As I said as the outset, I hardly wish to make featured posts of these events! But travelers wary of going solo and wondering what happens when it all goes wrong may be reassured by reading about how these moments can be dealt with, and how, in fact, things end up all right, really, even if not ideal.
2022 June 27: Missed my flight because I had the wrong day in mind!
Yes, it was that simple. I had fixed in my mind that I was leaving Narbonne on a Tuesday, to make my way to Montpellier airport for Norwegian Air’s twice-weekly route to Copenhagen. I had a very rude awakening on Monday when my AirBnB host texted to ask me what time I’d be clearing out, as he had someone else arriving that afternoon. OOPS. read about Narbonne goof
2022 June 27: Lodgings were double-booked
Having made a same-day booking in Montpellier, I struggled to arrive at my booking, with Uber drivers canceling out so that I repeatedly texted my host that I was further delayed … only to finally arrive and learn the apartment had been given to a family that hadn’t even finished moving their luggage in, right in front of me … This little tale has a happy ending, though at the time it was a very rough day. read about Montpellier, derailed
2023 Feb 5: Booked a flight for the wrong month
Can you imagine arriving at an airport only to have it pointed out that your reservation is for the NEXT Sunday the 5th? (Choose your date …) Ah, the treachery of March mirroring February. I had caught my mistake in booking lodging in Marrakech for a week in March when it should have been for February, and I corrected that promptly. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to review my flight booking. After all, I would never make such a mistake, would I? read about Charleroi goof
2023 Feb 6: No airport pickup and no room for the night
The awkwardness of arriving after midnight! I had been very explicit with my hostel, but no matter, I was left literally in the cold. This is one tale of woe I deny responsibility for. read about my rough arrival in Marrakech
2023 March 7: Debit card lost and used
Not much to tell, so no link to anything further. but a rough end to my stay in Marrakech. I think my ATM card popped out of what I thought was a secure little holder when I slipped. I’d reached a point on the sidewalk where I was caught on a restaurant terrace, and the only ways out were a bit of a leap down, or a steep ramp with a slick marble surface. I slipped on that ramp. Not bad, not an actual fall; I slipped down, squatting. I had to catch myself with my free right hand, ending up with a scraped palm. Nothing more. The phone around my neck hit the sidewalk hard, resulting in some shattered spots on the screen protector; not deeper, I hope! I was too concerned about being sure I was uninjured and stable to walk on, to think about anything else. Only when I got back to my hotel did I realize my ATM card was not where it belonged. I called Schwab and spent quite a long while discussing the incident, as a couple of fraudulent charges had attempted to post almost immediately. I was told I did not need to go make a police report – good thing as I had to leave the country in the morning. The case will drag on a while. Meantime, Schwab is willing to send me a replacement card to my friend’s house in England, which is very accommodating of them. (Far cry from Chase and Citi experiences.)
Struck out in Cambridge
A greatly-delayed flight, a cancelled organ recital, a killer brunch (not in the good sense, as you might surmise), all resulted in a complete strike out this interlude: zero concerts attended of three planned. read how I was done in – or avoid TMI